A Decade After It Hurts, Bad Bad Hats' Kerry Alexander Dishes on the 10th Anniversary Edition

It's hard to believe that Bad Bad Hats' It Hurts EP is officially 10 years old, with the five songs that put the band on the map feeling both fresh and new, and like we've known them our entire lives.

And today, to celebrate a decade of enthralling fans, the Minneapolis indie rock group released their It Hurts EP (10th Anniversary Edition). The new EP features not only remastered versions of the five 2013 tracks, but also never-before-heard demos that give us new insights into where the unforgettable songs started. It's an insightful dive into the group's beginnings, showcasing how they seamlessly blend indie rawness with mesmerizing pop appeal, all tied together with vocalist and guitarist Kerry Alexander's fantastic vocals. We had the pleasure of chatting with her all about the re-release, how far the band has come and what It Hurts means to her a decade on, and you can read it all in the interview below.

Sweety High: What inspired you to revisit your debut release for its 10th anniversary?

Kerry Alexander: You only get so many anniversaries as a band, so I really wanted to take a moment and commemorate these last 10 years of making music—get a chance to be nostalgic and reflect on how far we've come and all the adventures we've had. And it helped that It Hurts had never been printed into a physical form (no CDs, no tapes, no vinyl, no nothing!). So we knew we could do something super special to celebrate with the fans.

Bad Bad Hats Kerry Alexadner and Chris Hoge close up

(Photo credit: Zoe Prinds-Flash)


SH: Have these songs changed in meaning to you over that time? How, or how not?

KA: I'm not sure they've changed in meaning per se, but I do feel like I appreciate them more and more. Now that I'm so far removed from the situation, I can look at a song like "Super America" and understand what my 22-year-old self was going through, moving in with her boyfriend (hi, Chris) for the first time, figuring out how to cohabitate and communicate, unsure of the future. And now to be married to that boyfriend, still rocking together in the band after all these years, it makes me smile that we did it together and we're still having fun.


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SH: At what point did you decide to include both remastered versions of the old tracks and their demos on the new EP? Why did sharing those demos feel like the perfect way to celebrate this EP a decade on?

KA: Practically, it felt like we needed something to fill the B-side of the record. We considered having the B-side just be blank or have an etched design or something cool like that, but in the back of my mind, I kept thinking about my early demos, a collection I referred to as The Didot Demos (Didot was the street I lived on in Paris). That was the first time I had written songs that felt like they belonged together and felt like they were going somewhere. They were the beginning of a "sound" that you could build a band off of. And we did! So I wanted to share them so fans could see the very very beginning of our band, and get a glimpse into the process of how songs grow and change over time. The "Super America (Demo)," for instance, has a totally different chorus. Maybe some people will think we should've kept the old chorus, and that's cool! I like showing the decision-making that goes into making a record.


SH: What does it mean to you that this music feels just as fresh and relevant today as it did a decade ago?

KA: Well, firstly, thank you for saying that! I think I'll always have an interesting relationship with these early songs. On the one hand, I see how much I've developed as a songwriter and musician since I wrote them. In that way, I look back at them as my humble beginnings. But on the other hand, I see how important they are to the fans, and the impact they continue to have even now (the No. 1 question we get from new fans after the show is, "what was that song you played about the gas station?"). So in a different way, those songs will always be right here with me in the present, representing the BBH sound. And that makes me glad. It Hurts is the little spark that got this whole train moving. Those five songs were made with joy and excitement and no pretense, and I try to remind myself to enter all music-making ventures with that same kind of wide-eyed thrill.

Bad Bad Hats Kerry Alexadner and Chris Hoge standing for It Hurts promo

(Photo credit: Zoe Prinds-Flash)


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SH: What's your favorite track from the EP? Why?

KA: "9am" has always been one of my favorite arrangements on the EP. I love the background vocals in the chorus ("Oh yeah, I!"). But I do think I have to give it to the title track. "It Hurts" represents the Bad Bad Hats formula so well—catchy melodies, quirky instrumentation, a bit of humor, an up-beat tempo to mask the subtle lyrical gloom—it's all there! We've played this song thousands of times at hundreds of shows and I never get tired of it. I hope to keep singing "ooh ooh ooh oohs" for many decades to come!


SH: Is there anything else you'd like to add?

KA: To see the response to the vinyl release of It Hurts has been so heart-warming. I personally pack up every merch order so I see where I'm sending them, and I'm shipping vinyl to every corner of the U.S. and overseas. And there have been so many familiar names: friends and supporters we've made along the way. I love to be reminded of the wonderful communities that get built around music. We can't thank people enough for sticking with us over all these years!


For more on our favorite new music this week, click HERE to read our interview with Rachel Grae on her viral single, "How Dare You."